A local restaurateur sought to create a new wine bar and restaurant with a former “Top Chef” in Baltimore’s Harbor East area.?The clients wanted a high end but casual atmosphere which was warm and inviting for their clientele. The challenge was to create a pleasant dining and bar experience with support functions, all in just under 2,000sf. The Bagby Furniture Building is a former industrial structure built of masonry and heavy timber.
We sought to preserve the openness of a rapidly shrinking space as the multiple layers of function were overlaid. The basic requirement of having to store hundreds of bottles of wine became an incentive to reinforce the wine bar motif, storage became part of the visual aesthetic as all of their stock would be stored in the open. The kitchen and services area was wrapped with clear cypress planing and integral horizontal bottle display. A steel screen wall was created at the entrance to the dining area using the wine bottles as the lens. Components in the space were added by inserting ‘furniture like’ elements of contrasting material within the shell to allow a clear delineation of the old and new. Natural materials were used to help reinforce a warm and welcoming palette and finishes were minimal to allow a clear and concise space for intimate dining.